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tv   The Colbert Report  Comedy Central  February 7, 2013 10:30am-11:00am PST

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>> jon: captioning sponsored by comedy central captioned by media access group at wgbh that's our show. join us tomorrow at 11:00. here it is your moment zen. >> they weren't initially rivals. that developed later on and -- i wasn't my fight, you know. i don't know, i just think, i think the tupac's lyrics were [eagle caw] >> stephen: tonight, a surprising candidate for congress. is it you? if you're not sure, you probably shouldn't run. [laughter] then, should america get rid of the penny? or should they leave them in america's couch cushions.
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[laughter] and my guest lawrence wright has written a new book on scientology. after the interview, don't forget to take our free stress test. [laughter] home depot is going to hire 80,000 new workers for the spring. you know where they can find some cheap labor? in their parking lot. [laughter] this is "the colbert report." ["the colbert report" theme music playing] captioning sponsored by comedy central [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "stephen!"] [cheers and applause]
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thank you very much. welcome to the broadcast, everybody. sit down heros. in here, out there. good to have you with us. folks, you know i'm not -- [cheers and applause] ladies and gentlemen, i'm not going to fight your praise of me. you're right. [cheers and applause] folks, i don't generally like to report on news from canada. mostly because the headlines are always screaming: everything still okay. [laughter] but tonight, i have no choice but to turn our attention north because canada has done the unthinkable. >> in canada, they're dumping the penny. >> it is the end of the penny. >> the royal canadian mint officially ending its distribution of the penny. >> canada is dropping its penny today.
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>> stephen: canada dropped its penny? [laughter] without the canadian penny, what will we americans occasionally get mixed up with our change? [laughter] more of our pennies? probably not. thanks to this. >> some economists believe the u.s should do the same. >> will the u.s. follow suit? >> will that mean the end of honest abe here in the u.s.? >> stephen: yes, will that be the end of the lincoln penny. or the new daniel day lewis penny. [laughter] so convincing. [ laughter ] thankfully, some brave patriots are resisting this penny pinch. a group called americans for common cents, which is a delightful play on words because the penny is so common. [laughter] i get it. [cheers and applause] americans for common cents is a lobby group that "aims to inform
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and educate policymakers, consumers, and the media about the penny's economic, cultural, and historical significance." that's right, historical significance. for instance: did you know, historians tell us there was a time when pennies were useful. [laughter] and americans for common sense backs everything up with science evidence, like a recent poll which showed that "almost two-thirds of americans still feel the penny should be retained." and you can trust that poll, because it was conducted by leading opinion researchers coinstar. [laughter] of course. [ laughter ] coinstar, clearly impartial. they don't care if the government got rid of all change. there are still plenty of metal disks for them to count. who doesn't want to know how many washers you have in your pocket? [laughter] of course, cynics say americans for common cents can't be trusted just because "they are
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run by the main lobbyist representing the zinc industry, which supplies most of the metal used in pennies." [laughter] turns out pennies are mostly zinc. that's why whenever i feel a cold coming on, i shove a couple up my nose. [laughter] here, i'll show you. let me just get a penny over here. [cheers and applause] wow. [ laughter ] i got a gumball. [laughter] i gotta say i got a little panicky there. [ laughter ] kids, don't try that anywhere. [ laughter ] besides, what kind of world would this be without the noble penny? what would we leave in the take-a-penny leave-a-penny tray?
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[laughter] and without pennies, will i have to offer a nickel for your thoughts? [laughter] that's a 500% raise for the same amount of thinking! [laughter] what will we drop off the empire state building to kill tourists? [laughter] so stand by the noble penny-- a symbol of freedom, hope and something you find when you move your stove. [laughter] [cheers and applause] and that's my two cents. only possible, thanks to the penny! [cheers and applause] folks, as you know i'm a proud son of south carolina. we've got the best peaches, the best shrimp, and the most generous average humidity in america. [laughter] 86%! going outside in the summertime is like walking through a
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refreshing chowder. and my love for the palmetto state is why i was a natural choice to fill jim demint's senate seat when he stepped down in december. sadly, governor nikki haley appointed representative tim scott who was the congressman from my hometown of charleston, leaving that congressional seat open. god only knows who they're going to find to fill it. >> and elizabeth colbert-busch is running for congress in south carolina. she is not related to george w. bush, but she is related to stephen colbert. that's his sister. >> stephen: holy cow! my sister's running for congress! [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "colbert"] you better be cheering for me! [laughter] now, lulu --
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lulu is what we in the family called her growing up. i can still call her that because she still calls me by my childhood nickname: stephen colbert. [laughter] now right away, i want to dispel one of the vicious media rumours that is swirling out there. >> colbert-busch is stephen colbert's sister. >> she might be getting a little free tv time. >> stephen: wrong! no free air time, lulu. as a broadcast journalist, i am obligated to maintain pure objectivity. it doesn't matter that elizabeth colbert busch is intelligent, hard working, compassionate, and dedicated to the people of south carolina. [cheers and applause] i will not be mentioning any of that on my show. [ laughter ] besides, i'm not sure i can support her because she is running as a democrat. a: i take that as a personal affront. and two, there are so many great choices on the republican side. no less than 16 candidates have
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filed in the gop primary. i mean republicans are over this election like white on republicans. [ laughter ] there are some big names on the gop ticket. i'm talking ric "the stick" bryant, the electrifying keith "bland"ford, larry "boom boom" grooms, elizabeth "killing them softly" moffly, and chip "this is my actual name" limehouse. [laughter] but at this point, i'm leaning toward actual candidate and former governor of the appalachian trail mark sanford. [laughter] see, i'm a family values conservative and mark, he just seems so steady. [ laughter ] so, quick advice for any of you republicans who might end up in a debate with my sister. this is how i used to win a lot of arguments with her as a kid. right after she makes a good point, repeat it back to her in
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a dumb voice. [speak in dumb voice] "ooo, social security is a public trust to those who paid into it for their entire working lives." "stop copying me! i'm telling mom!" [laughter] trust me, it works. then again she's tough. she could win. and if you do, lulu, i hope you'll sit down with me for a better know a district. [cheers and applause] it'll give you a chance to defend some shocking revelations from your middle school diary. oh my god! we'll be right back. [cheers and applause] ]
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thanks so much. ] welcome back. folks, as you know, i am america's most prominent celebrity catholic, but i believe all other faiths are equally wrong. [laughter] so my guest tonight, lawrence wright has a new book about one of those faiths: scientology. now normally, i don't trust other religions, but i started to feel a connection to scientology when i saw they were able to afford an ad in this sunday's superbowl. [laughter] i mean, that's the religious
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big-time. i don't know how the catholic church is going to compete. the pope is going to have to get some clydesdales. [laughter] scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction author and millionaire-on-gilligan's-island l. ron hubbard. [laughter] so what do scientologists believe? basically that we're all extraterrestrial beings called "thetans" trapped in an earth body, after galactic leader xenu brought the thetans here, stacked them up around volcanos, and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. i'm sorry, jimmy, is that correct in my prompter? that is kind of, wow -- wow, bit of a stretch. wait 'til i tell my priest about this before he intercedes with god for me who then forgives my sins after i say a prayer whatever number of times the priest told me to. [laughter] [cheers and applause] unfortunately, the church has had some recent public relations problems. for instance, it seems scientology president david miscavige believes in tough
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love, without so much of the love part. [laughter] jim? >> marty wrathbun, who used to work directly under david miscavige, says there's been a culture of violence within the leadership of the church, the culture encouraged by miscavige himself. >> miscavige is portrayed as a ruthless and cruel leader, at times using physical violence to get his way and punish subordinates. >> he treats his subordinates in all of international management like slaves in a slave camp and literally beats them down. >> david miscavige was the one leading this whole physical violence kick, and it was him who was beating people up. >> stephen: we asked david miscavige for a comment, and he sent this response: a watermelon with a knife in it, with a note that says "you". [laughter] [cheers and applause] thankfully, it doesn't say "me" or i'd be terrified.
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[laughter] by the way, if any scientology lawyers are watching, this is what he actually sent me, for real. i mean that as much as anything i've said on this show. [laughter] and no reasonable person would think otherwise. [laughter] i await your suit. [ laughter ] but if the allegations are true, why would anybody put up with it? it could be because when higher members of the church join the elite group called "sea org" they're asked to sign a billion year contract. [laughter] after that, i believe it goes month-to-month. [laughter] either way, it's still more flexible than at&t. [laughter] so what is scientology-- a respectable modern religion like mormonism? or a weird creepy cult like mormonism two years ago? [laughter] joining me after the break to discuss many of these allegations will be man who
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uncovered many of them in his new book "going clear" lawrence wright. we'll be right back. [cheers and applause] k
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[cheers and applause] k >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. thank you so much. [cheers and applause] ladies and gentlemen, my guest tonight is a staff writer for "the new yorker" whose new joke is called "going clear." if their lawyers are as
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litigious as they say, my new book could be called "going broke." please welcome lawrence wright! [cheers and applause] all right. you are a staff writer for the new yorker. one of your previous books is called the looming tower which you won a pulitzer prize for. congratulations. >> thank you. >> stephen: you have a new book here called "going clear: scientology, hollywood and the prison of belief." what do you mean? are you a sub pressive person yament. do you believe in kfw? ly not hesitate to put my outethics in you? >> i guess i've come to the wrong show. >> stephen: do you know what i'm saying right now? are you upset right now? >> i'm upset. >> stephen: i will confront shatter suppression. >> i had no idea you spoke this
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language. >> stephen: not entirely sure what i said but it sounds impressive. [laughter] why did you want to write about scientology? why investigate somebody's elz's religion. if you want to believe it, believe it, if not, move on. >> i'm fascinated by religion especially in this country where you can believe anything you want which isn't true in a lot of places. >> stephen: when you say scientology, hollywood and a prison of belief. is all belief a prison? >> in this case i was especially thinking how in the sea org, the clergy. >> stephen: it's the highest level. >> it's the clergy in the catholic church like the priest and nuns. there's a lot of physical abuses going on and involuntary confine the. i stumbled over a federal f.b.i. investigation and they had apparently planned to break in to this compound in southern
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california and liberate all these people that were being held in this reeducation camp. and their sources told them don't bother. if you did that, and these people have been been there months and years, but the ex-scientologists said if you did that they would say it's sunshine and seashells, they'll say they are here for our own good. they are not being held against their will. it's their will that is holding them there. that's the prison of belief. [ applause . >> stephen: abuse is a strong accusation. is there actual evidence of this abuse? >> i've hl 12 people tell me they've been beaten by david miscavige. >> stephen: if i found out the catholic church abused 12 people, i would be out of there, i would be gone in minutes. [laughter]
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[cheers and applause] what a crazy religion. [ laughter ] >> now -- >> stephen: now, you say that sea org is the priestly class, the clerical class of scientology. >> right. >> stephen: why is it sea org? >> in the middle 60s l. ron hubbard, the founder was on the run and he had a scientology navy. they sailed around the mediterranean and in the caribbean. >> stephen: is that why he dresd like thursdayton howell iii? [laughter] there's one thing i admire about him, lrh as we call him. he did not believe in paying taxes and neither do i. [laughter] he got in trouble for not paying taxes. how did he get out of it? >> well, he died. [laughter] >> stephen: that's the ultimate escape. >> that's right. [ laughter ] yes, but -- his successor david
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miscavige by 1993 scientology owed $1 billion in back taxes and they didn't have it. they had to get a tax exemption. they launched a lawsuit against the irs. they put private investigators on agents to see who drank too much, who was foolg around on the road. whatever the merit of the case was, those lawsuits were dropped. >> stephen: they got be officially in a religion and they dropped 24 lawsuits. >> exactly and called off the private investigators. >> stephen: one of the other things that appeals to me about scientology is that they are into celebrities. >> yes. >> stephen: i'm a celebrity. they've done great things for them. tom cruise has not aged. [ laughter ] would it help me. if i went to hollywood and went to the celebrity center and became a scientologist would that be good for my career? can they deliver?
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>> it would be public relations martyrdom for most. i think a lot of them are suffering a martyrdom for their belief. it's the most stigmatized religion for sure. they continue to lend their credibility to this. that was what drew me in. i thought what are they getting out of it. i think a lot of people do get things out of scientology. i think people who go in get therapy, they call it auditing. people who are having personal problems, there's a menu of courses that you can take that might help you and many people say they have been helped. some celebrities like tom cruise get things that other people in the church don't. the sea org members built him a hangar for his airplanes. they handcrafted a limousine for him these are people paid $50 a week and they are polishing his light bulbs. >> stephen: more than i pay my
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interns. i should start a cult. [ laughter ] [cheers and applause] or for legal reasons, let's say, a religion. thank you so much lawrence wright, "going clear." we'll be right back. [cheers and applause]
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